BACKSTORY (2004—Present): October 31, 1939, lightning destroyed part of the Hollywood Tower Hotel and transported elevator passengers to the Twilight Zone. The building’s scorched façade is modeled after The Mission Inn (Riverside), The Chateau Marmont (Hollywood), and The Biltmore (Downtown LA). Cast members wear a 1930’s bellhop outfit that costs $1000+ per uniform (most expensive park costume). This attraction cost between $70-90m, and at 183' is the tallest attraction & building in Anaheim. Imagineers screened all 156 Twilight Zone episodes at least twice to capture the mood and inspire props, guest stars, settings, music, and representative phrases used by host Rod Serling. His intro (viewed on the Library’s TV) is from the episode “It’s a Good Life.” Serling began with “Tonight’s story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a…” Imagineers completed the intro with new dialogue, using a sound-alike (Mark Silverman). For Halloween 2006, the Tower of Terror received minor enhancements, including Halloween decor for the lobby & building exterior, and various cast members in period costume (a reporter, a janitor and a pair of 1930’s L.A. citizens).
Interesting facts from The Disney Park Blog:
Reaching 183 feet, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is made of more than 900 tons of steel, 1,600 cubic yards of concrete, 50,000 square feet of exterior plaster and about two miles of HV DC power cable.
The “service elevators” ridden by guests move faster than the speed of gravity.
The music heard in the Hollywood Tower Hotel courtyard and lobby features jazz and popular tunes from the 1930′s, such as “I Can’t Get Started With You” by Bunny Berigan, “We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn and “Mood Indigo” by Duke Ellington.
The “Twilight Zone” episode from which Rod Serling’s appearance in the Library scene was taken is entitled “It’s A Good Life,” written by Rod Serling. The episode tells the story of a little boy who can read minds and control people.
The two glass display cases just outside the Library contain props that reference two “Twilight Zone” episodes: a gold thimble (from “The After Hours,” starring Anne Francis as a woman who has forgotten that she is not actually a human being but a department store mannequin) and a broken stopwatch (from “A Kind of a Stopwatch,” the story of a watch that could actually stop time).